College Information

4-Year College Information

4-Year College InformationGo To Top of Page

Basic College Information:
  • Four-Year Colleges and Universities generally have similar requirements:
    • Students must complete A - G requirements with grades of C or higher
    • Students must complete either an SAT or ACT exam (see PSAT/SAT/ACT tab)
    • Students must apply online
      • usually apply in the fall or early winter
      • usually includes an application fee
Four Year Colleges:
  Click to select an picture...
  •  The UC system hosts 9 undergraduate universities
    • Research facilities
    • Highly competitive - see admit profiles
    • Larger class sizes than CSU
    • Requires SAT or ACT with writing
    • The UC uses a comprehensive review of their application, meaning that there are many factors that contribute to admissions, beyond grades and test scores.
  • Apply Online - beginning August 1st.  Applications are submitted November 1-30.
    • No letters of recommendation are currently needed for the UC
    • Do not submit a transcript at time of application
    • Some majors at some UCs recommend SAT Subject Tests
      • Click HERE for the list
  CSU logo
  • The CSU system hosts 23 campuses statewide
  • With the exception of Cal Poly SLO, and San Diego State, the CSUs are not as selective as the UCs.
  • CSUs offer students the following:
    • Less costly education
    • Easier access than UCs
    • More of a practical education; not as heavy in the research as the UCs
  • Apply online
    • Applications open October 1 and are due November 30th 
    • Self report coursework and grades
    • No letters of rec or personal statements
    • No activities and award listings needed
    • Do not submit a transcript at time of application
  • Admissions
    • Eligibility Index formula is utilized to determine admission
    • Index includes GPA and test scores
    • Each school has determined an index for their college as well as for their impacted majors to determine if a student will be granted admission or not
  • Websites for more information
AICCU logo
  • Check out the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities at for information about private schools in California.
  • Private schools come in various sizes, philosophies, academic standards, specialties, etc.
  • Private schools can tend to be more expensive than public colleges, but also tend to have more money to give away.
  • Smaller student to teacher ratios 
  • 4 year graduation rates 
  • Many private schools utilize the Common App for their application
    • Requires a listing of activities and awards
    • Requires a personal statement
    • Eequires at least two letters of recommendation
    • Deadlines depend on the school you are applying to
  • For schools not utilizing the Common App, check the college website for an 'apply' link.
WUE logo
  •  Check out the amazing opportunities that abound outside of California
  • The Western Undergraduate Exchange, or WUE, is the opportunity for students in the western states to receive a reduced out-of-state tuition at participating WUE colleges
    • Each school differs in the criteria for obtaining a WUE agreement, so check carefully
    • WUE usually brings tuition down to 1.5 times the normal in-state tuition for the selected college
    • Click HERE for a list of WUE schools.
  • Cost of living is usually cheaper out of state, so even though tuition may be higher, the total cost of attendance is usually between the cost of attending a UC and a CSU
  • Most out-of-state schools guarantee a four-year graduation rate!
  • Apply online via Common App (see info above, under Private Schools), or via the application link on your college's website.
  Common App logo


  • College Searches
    • - useful in finding which CSUs and UCs have certain majors
  • Major exploration
    • - useful in finding which CSUs and UCs have certain majors
    • College Majors 101
    • What can i do with a major in...
    • Check on your College's website and view their graduation requirements for your major - make sure it is heading in the direction you want.  Each school is different!
    • The Career Center has 'What can I do with a major in...' flyers - swing by and pick one up!